‘A night amongst the stars’

The Meadow Brook Ball Committee members helped setting up and taking down decorations for both nights at the mansion. 

Rachel Williams

Oakland hosts Meadow Brook Ball, gives students old Hollywood experience

Walking into Meadow Brook Hall is already an amazing experience. For the annual Meadow Brook Ball, the hall was decorated and made even more extravagant.  

On Jan. 30 and Feb. 6, students were given the star treatment at the ball with the theme “A Night Amongst the Stars.” 

The ball was first held in 1972 and is hosted at the mansion on Oakland’s campus. The event is planned each year by the Meadow Brook Ball Committee.  Preparations for the ball began back in September.  

Students were approached outside the enormous mansion by a valet, then made their way to a registration table inside. Just past this table was a large white backdrop and a red carpet.  

To the left was a live band made up of Oakland University Jazz Ensemble students. To the right was a long wooden table holding golden film reels and programs for the evening all lit by the roaring fireplace.  

Making their way downstairs, students noted the the bright lights looped around the railing and glittery stars with old Hollywood actors’ names.  

Once downstairs, guests were greeted by Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe and James Dean. For the Feb. 6 event, these celebrities were impersonated by current Oakland students AlissaBeth Morton, Mannon McIntosh and Bobby Brooks.  

Brooks explained that the Music, Theatre and Dance students were recruited by committee member Stephanie Gryebet to entertain guests throughout the night.  

“We walk around all night from 8 to 10 p.m. and people take pictures with us,” Brooks explained.  

“It’s kind of like Disney,” Morton added.

Past the celebrity impersonators was a photo booth and the dance floor.  

Oakland’s radio station, WXOU, DJ-ed most of the evening. They accepted song requests like Beyoncé’s “Love on Top” and provided music for the ballroom dance lessons that were held a little after 8 p.m.  

There was also a game room for students to participate in a round of poker or spin a prize wheel.

Upstairs, guests were invited to take part in a scavenger hunt around the mansion to locate picture frames holding photographs of old Hollywood stars.  

A comedy show was held at 9:30 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. and a caricature artist was available to sketch guests for a one-of-a-kind keepsake.  

Hors d’oeuvres, desserts and beverages were provided throughout the evening.

In between all of these activities, students were allowed to explore a few of the mansion’s many rooms and take in the amazing artwork and decorations.  

When asked about her favorite part of the night, Liana Zervos, committee member, said, “I think the dancing.  It’s really fun when it gets going later on tonight.”

Zervos encouraged more students to attend next year and take in all that the ball and mansion have to offer.  

The Meadow Brook Ball provided a magical and glamorous opportunity for students to break out of the typical study sweats and enjoy a night in a beautiful and historic location.